Thursday, September 5, 2013

"We have at least a few options..."

"We can do this a few ways," I say to my husband and son. They're manhandling a 100 lb. coffee table into the house. Where to store it? It could go here ... or there. Well, maybe not there. A Coach store display table in white lacquer, it's commercially sized at 30"X72". I like it!

The new space is evolving in my head, funded by things we've sold. Right away, I can see that the table rules out our cream sofa slipcovers. (No biggie. Add those covers to the sale pile. Our other colors will look great.)

When I encounter a problem or an opportunity, my instincts leap forward to possible solutions. The desired outcome may have been loosely or tightly framed. However, the journey toward it and even the goal continues to evolve until we're done. I've found that the sum of the parts is often more than predicted! (And it's nearly always different than expected, unless we're willing to fight for exact outcomes.)

The perch for our
greenhouse, as it was
disassembled (BEFORE)

The new backyard ramp

An example? I've visualized our backyard as a broad patio area, landscaped with planters, a greenhouse, and outdoor seating. The space remained an untamed buffer on the border of the forest, the greenhouse an outpost in an unruly green sea. W or the boys weed-whacked occasionally to keep the foliage from overrunning the house. Our sons beat back encroaching blackberries and reeds every spring.

Goodbye, chaises!
Yesterday, the fellows who brought in gravel and sloped the yard for accessibility redefined the space. We won't be here long and it's functional. Forget the planters, pavers, and evenings on the edge of the forest! We sold our chaises last night.

W has a few more loads of wood and basement leftovers to take to the dump, which will improve the view. We gained an extra parking space at the end of the driveway. W's happy about it; I'm shedding my ideals and getting ready to move away.

Outside, lightning is flashing. Thunder rolls in through the screen door. The rain taps the skylight and saturates the deck. It's a new day, with time to pack up a few more boxes, meet with peers in ministry, and ask God for favor in bringing buyers for what we no longer need. I'll maybe even get in a walk with my granddaughter. Sip a few cups of tea between everything.

C. S. Lewis made an interesting observation about times of discomfort and transition:

The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy.

It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.
From The Problem of Pain

Read more:
*Lead me in your truth, and teach me. Psalm 25:5 NLT

*Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17 ESV

*Jesus says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ... Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:6, 27

Moravian Prayer: Our Guide and Sustainer, you are the beginning, the end, and everything in between. You are the perfect mentor, the perfect companion, and the perfect counselor. Help us always to rely on your wisdom. Amen.

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